Biden is gambling to forcibly pass a reform to protect minority vote

Georgia. US President Joe Biden traveled to Georgia on Tuesday to advance an explosive contentment on one of his key promises: to protect African-American access to the vote, which he considers threatened by conservative southern states.

“This is a crucial moment,” he told reporters upon leaving the White House, assuring that “history would judge” the legislators of his country. The president, weakened by low approval ratings, decided to risk forcing a vast electoral reform so far blocked by Republicans in the Senate, according to the White House, which seeks to strengthen the minority vote.

“I will not hesitate. I will defend your right to vote and our democracy against enemies from within and without ”, the Democratic president will say, according to an excerpt from the speech he will deliver in Atlanta, the capital of Georgia.

After a powerful speech given on January 6 to commemorate the first anniversary of the attempt by supporters of Republican Donald Trump to annul the 2020 presidential elections, Biden will push for the approval of two laws that make up the electoral reform. Both already approved in the House of Representatives.

The president began his visit to Atlanta with a meeting with the sons of Martin Luther King, before visiting the grave of the African-American hero of the civil rights struggle. He then went with Vice President Kamala Harris to the Baptist church where King was assassinated in 1968.

Martin Luther King

Biden, elected with the strong support of figures in the black community, has vowed to complete the struggles of the icon of nonviolent mobilization. Although civil rights activists warned him against empty promises.

“Your visit should not be a mere formality,” Martin Luther King III, son of the Baptist pastor, said on Twitter. The American press also noted the absence of Stacey Abrams, Democratic candidate for the governorship of Georgia, and one of the most powerful voices on the electoral turnout of African Americans. An absence that was due to a simple “conflict of agendas”, according to the White House.

Biden wants to harmonize across the country the conditions in which Americans vote, from registration in the electoral registers to the counting of votes, through voting by mail and identity verification. These are parameters that several conservative southern states, including Georgia, have committed to modifying ensuring that they increase the security of voting operations.

However, in practice the changes undertaken by conservative states make it difficult for African Americans to access the polls while strengthening the control of local authorities, generally conservative, over voting operations.

Democrats accuse Republicans of seeking to subvert future elections, under the influence of former President Trump, who claims against all evidence that the last presidential elections were rigged. In a perfect dialogue of the deaf, Republicans reproach their opponents for “a blatant blow designed to distort the rules of the game,” according to the president of the Republican Party, Ronna McDaniel.


Biden wants the Senate to pass two bills: the “John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act” and the “Freedom to Vote Act.” According to him, this will protect the achievements of the fight for civil rights and against racial discrimination, which date back to the 1960s.

For this, the president, who was a senator for more than 30 years, is willing to break with the deep-rooted tradition of filibusterism. This custom, which seeks to force consensus and moderation, requires that the Senate gather a reinforced majority (of 60 votes) to put the majority of the texts to a vote.

Although Biden, who may lose control of Congress after the midterm elections next November, is now in favor of Democrats (who currently have 51 votes in the Senate including the vice president, against 50 for Republicans) to vote. by simple majority.

Abandoning the 60-vote threshold will enrage the conservative opposition, but it will also upset certain Democrats, attached to this provision criticized as “obstructionist.”

However, to be successful, the president needs the support of every Democratic senator without exception, including West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, who has already blocked Biden’s massive social and environmental spending plan and is reluctant to follow his party. in the “right to vote.”


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